REC Solar to focus on commercial market, residential arm acquired by Sunrun


US installer REC Solar has announced that it is set to focus its future efforts solely on the commercial PV market, offloading its residential segment to solar developer and financier Sunrun.

REC Solar will now trade under the name REC Solar Commercial Corp, installing commercial-scale systems for businesses, federal agencies and utilities.

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REC Solar board member Angiolo Laviziano said: “The commercial market is projected to grow upwards of 40 percent in 2014, and this business division will strengthen REC Solar’s leadership position in the space.”

Mainstream Energy, the parent company of US-based REC Solar – a separate company to REC Solar ASA, which itself is a newly formed entity of Renewable Energy Corporation Group (REC Group) headquartered in Singapore – has also sold its divisions responsible for wholesale distribution and mounting systems and hardware businesses, AEE Solar and SnapNRack, to SunRun.

REC Solar recently appointed a new chief executive officer, Paul Detering, previously the head of solar system developer and power purchase agreement (PPA) provide Tioga Energy, with particular experience in serving “commercial, non-profit and governmental customers”.

Detering pointed out that there are fundamental differences, including customer bases and sources of income in the residential and commercial markets and said that leaving behind the residential market would allow the company to offer better service to commercial customers.

Some leadership changes have also taken place at Sunrun under the terms of the acquisition deal. Lynn Jurich, formerly co-chief executive officer with Ed Fenster, is now Sunrun chief executive officer, while Fenster is now the company’s chairman. Together, Fenster and Jurich co-founded the company. Former chief operating officer Tom Holland is now company president, overseeing strategy and execution, while his replacement as chief operating officer is Mainstream Energy chief executive officer Paul Winnowski. Winnowski’s Mainstream Energy colleague, chairman Timothy Ball has now been appointed to Sunrun’s board of directors. 

Sunrun’s social media team wrote on the company’s Facebook page, “Combining our businesses will help bring low cost and high quality solar to as many Americans as possible.”

Sunrun chief executive officer Lynn Jurich said, “The residential solar market is growing rapidly and this acquisition marks the next step in our multi-channel growth strategy. REC Solar's residential division, AEE Solar and SnapNrack complement our thriving channel business and further enable us to fulfill the enormous market potential for home solar nationwide.”

The news appeared to cause some confusion around the industry. REC Solar’s twitter feed in the hours following the announcement was filled with dozens of tweets by the company clarifying the news and stating that only the residential arm has changed hands, to various interested parties including international media.

This article has been amended from its original form, which contained an incorrect reference to the relationship between REC Solar and REC Solar ASA.

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